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Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Popped in this morning to check the water levels.Awesome news all the pans are now full, I know it is a trade off birders v photographers but as a birder who takes photos i am really chuffed that the levels are back to normal. With the rain we have had over the last week all the wetlands behind hide number one and two are really wet and there are lots of specials on offer.Granted a little walking is needed but it is worth it. I heard Willow Warbler on the path to hide number two but never saw it.I did notice that they are erecting a huge game capturing fence, not sure if they are removing animals or putting more in. Am currently trying to find out and will keep the blog updated with news as soon as i know.

Not much time spent here as i wanted to go to Blesboklaagte road next to the western border of Suikerbosrand.

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Today's visit was primarily to check out the water levels and test out a sigma 150-500mm lens.Have had the lens for about six years but never use it.Camera shake is the biggest reason I do not use it and had forgotten that it is not as sharp as my Canon f4 300mm set up.

Good news is that the water is flowing again,Hide number one is full again and hopefully will stay full for the rest of the season.Hide number two is back to normal and I reckon the islands in the big pan will be gone by next week-end. 3 Pied kingfishers made an appearance as well as Ruff,Wood,Marsh and Common Sandpiper.I counted 11 adult Black Crowned Night Heron,Grey,Black Headed and Squacco heron showed.Greater flamingos still around.I thought the Black Swan had left but it is still around. Strong smell of dung hung over the picnic area and i think the grass is starting to come back. The Peacocks are in full breeding mode and showing of a lot.A solitary Afican Spoonbill was hanging out.
The three pics here of 1.Black Swan,2.Ruff and  lastly the Wood Sandpiper where almost salvageable but will not make it into my library.

The testing of the lens was a failure and out of 400 pics taken not one is good enough,found the lens to be extremely slow on the auto focus setting,also overcast so shooting 1250 ISO and had way to much noise I could not even get rid of in Photoshop.

Saturday, October 5, 2013


Really warm this morning.Water levels have dropped at least another two feet and is close to the limit of what the pans can comfortably sustain .What fish that are left are being forced into smaller bodies of water making them very vulnerable to being fished out by the large numbers of heron.Really good morning giving me a count of 38 species in the two hours I was there.
                                                   Black Crowned Night Heron

                                                   Black Winged Stilt
                                                           Common Sandpiper
                                                        Marsh Sandpiper
                                            Pied Avocet
                                                               Purple Heron

 Sacred Ibis
                        White Throated Swallow
                                           Juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron